From £18,125
Refreshed Jeep junior is tough, usable and shows improvement, but isn’t good enough to threaten the best in class

Our Verdict

Jeep Compass
The Compass exhibits many of Jeep's classic styling traits

The Jeep Compass is a rebadged version of the old Dodge Caliber. It is a poor Kuga or Qashqai alternative by most measures

  • First Drive

    Jeep Compass 2.2 CRD

    Refreshed Jeep junior is tough, usable and shows improvement, but isn’t good enough to threaten the best in class
  • First Drive

    Jeep Compass 2.0D

    Jeep’s take on the soft-roader is okay but nothing more. Priced keenly, but no bargain.

What is it?

The first fruit of Jeep’s self-proclaimed ‘product led resurgence’. Next week, the first of the American SUV brand’s revised models, enhanced under the auspices of the Fiat Group, goes on sale in the UK: the facelifted Compass.

The Compass has now been officially revealed - read the full story here

With the smaller Patriot now dropped from British showrooms, this compact 4x4 will be Jeep’s entry-level model for the medium term. It’s got a new grille, headlights, bonnet and front bumper for a smarter and more expensive look, while on the inside there are some classier chrome trims and soft-touch plastics.

The Compass range starts with the very reasonable 2.0-litre petrol-powered Sport model, priced at £16,995, which becomes one of the very first cars that Jeep has ever sold outside of the US without all-wheel drive. There’s a sub-£20k, front-driven, 134bhp diesel option too.

Our test car was the 2.2-litre CRD 4x4 Limited model, running a new-to-Jeep commonrail turbodiesel engine sourced from Mercedes-Benz, and a part-time four-wheel drive system with a lockable 50/50 power split. Priced at under £24k, it’s about £1500 cheaper than an equivalent VW Tiguan or Ford Kuga; and coming with leather upholstery, heated electric front seats, Bluetooth – and 161bhp – it offers generous power and standard equipment for the money.

What’s it like?

Although it looks compact, there’s plenty of room in the Compass’ cabin: a high roof line provides more than enough head- and legroom for adults in the back. The new soft-touch plastics on the doors and centre cubby are welcome, but the rest of the fascia feels hard and is easily scratched, and the general impression is still only of mediocre material quality.

And regrettably, that Daimler-derived engine hasn’t turned the Compass into a refined car to drive, either. It’s quite clattery at idle and intrusive at high rpm, but does provide plenty of low-end torque, which you can tap into easily via a slick six-speed gearbox.

At relaxed motorway speeds this Jeep is quiet enough, and has enough compliance to ride well. On more challenging B-roads it’s short on vertical body control, and is often flustered by bumps in the road. Inconsistent and sticky steering feel makes the Compass difficult to position precisely in a corner too, and on coarse surfaces it produces plenty of road noise.

Not the most resolved car to drive on the road, then – but a capable 4x4 for sure, with 20 degree approach and departure angles, and rated to tow 2000kg on a braked trailer.

Should I buy one?

Only if you’re sure you want a proper off-roader. New management or not, this Jeep is still a more old-fashioned kind of 4x4 than a Ford Kuga or Nissan Qashqai. It remains to be seen whether drivers used to better-mannered car-like SUVs will accept its rougher edges.

To those who like their offroaders to feel tough and mechanically robust, it could appeal - but on this evidence the Compass lacks the polish to significantly broaden Jeep’s reach and improve its sales fortunes.

Jeep Compass 2.2 CRD 4x4 Limited

Price: £23,595; Top speed: 125mph; 0-62mph: 9.8sec; Economy: 42.8mpg; Co2: 172g/km; Kerb weight: 1605kg; Engine type, cc: 4 cyl, 2143cc, commonrail turbodiesel; Power: 161bhp @ 3600rpm; Torque: 236lb ft @ 1400rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
14

8 April 2011

I think this looks quite good now and iff it is a proper 4x4 someone wants at a decent price and they are not too fussy about the on road driving dynamics then its a great buy but maybe Jeep should have tryed to make it drive better to appeal to a wider audience but maybe they will for the next on and were limited in what they could do this time . The interior is not bad I like it but would like to see Jeep get more adventuras with there interior designs be more funky don,t be afraid to try something new. Maybe in the next model they will be more adventuras .

8 April 2011

Like the new styling.

But: The Jeep Patriot is being discontinued? The first thing you see on the Jeep website is: "the new Jeep Patriot" - And when I went to the Jeep dealer the other day for a preview of the new Grand Cherokee, the new patriot was there? Confusing....

8 April 2011

i think going by how this looks that they should stick to four wheel drive only as i cant see this vehicles appeal outside commercial or farming interests.It really wont suit the trendy mum on the school run imho

9 April 2011

[quote Autocar]

What is it?


The first fruit of Jeep’s self-proclaimed ‘product led resurgence’. Next week, the first of the American SUV brand’s revised models, enhanced under the auspices of the Fiat Group, goes on sale in the UK: the facelifted Compass.


With the smaller Patriot now dropped from British showrooms, this compact 4x4 will be Jeep’s entry-level model for the medium term. It’s got a new grille, headlights, bonnet and front bumper for a smarter and more expensive look, while on ...Read the full article

[/quote] YUK

9 April 2011

How can they have dropped the Patriot already when they've only just revised it?! :-S

The Compass looks OK, though, I'm still not sure I'd have one of most of its rivals, but the badge and equipment is appealing.

9 April 2011

I think this looks like a Hyundai or Kia SUV from a few years ago, but with a Jeep grille stuck on the front. Not one of Jeep's more successful designs.

9 April 2011

[quote Mr£4worth][quote Autocar]

What is it?


The first fruit of Jeep’s self-proclaimed ‘product led resurgence’. Next week, the first of the American SUV brand’s revised models, enhanced under the auspices of the Fiat Group, goes on sale in the UK: the facelifted Compass.


With the smaller Patriot now dropped from British showrooms, this compact 4x4 will be Jeep’s entry-level model for the medium term. It’s got a new grille, headlights, bonnet and front bumper for a smarter and more expensive look, while on ...Read the full article

[/quote] YUK[/quote]

It's the wheel arches isn't it?

In all fairness I can't give Jeep a hard time for this car's dodgy exterior without complementing them on on the yet another new model with a very smart looking interior.

10 April 2011

[quote Dark Isle]

How can they have dropped the Patriot already when they've only just revised it?! :-S

[/quote]

I think that is an autocar error. Jeeps website shows the new patriot - the new ones are on Autotrader and I even saw one in the dealer the other day.

11 April 2011

The Patriot is a decent little motor, looks good and reasonable value too. If anything, they should've dropped the Compass! At least its less ugly than the previous one...

11 April 2011

[quote fhp11]

Like the new styling.

But: The Jeep Patriot is being discontinued? The first thing you see on the Jeep website is: "the new Jeep Patriot" - And when I went to the Jeep dealer the other day for a preview of the new Grand Cherokee, the new patriot was there? Confusing....

[/quote]Come on...

You work at a Jeep dealership.

After all this time, admit it.

We won't be cross...just sympathetic.

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